A. Comment on the chapter section that called your attention the most. Relate to a map OR image. (100 words) 1%
B. Answer THREE of the SIX sets. Remember to use and quote textbook pages. Minimum of 100 words per set. 3%
1. What was Hellenism, and in what ways did it have an impact across Afro-Eurasia? How did Alexander’s incursion in central and South Asia promote political changes in those areas, and what were those changes?
2. What do you think influenced Alexander the most in his early life and led him to become a visionary strong leader and military strategist, besides his teacher Aristotle?
3. Which were the Aśokan pillars and why were they important? Do the pillars’ placement suggest anything about the level of literacy in the empire or at least attitudes about literacy?
4. What impact do you believe Aśoka had on the development of Buddhism, its practices, principles and popularity? Why do you think there was a decline in popularity of Buddhism in India after Aśoka’s death?
5. Where did the early “Silk Road” develop, when and why was the name ‘coined’ and how important were these trade routes in connecting areas of Afro-Eurasia? What was traded along the Silk Road (beyond tangible commodities) and the difficulties faced by traders?
6. Identify and explain the aspects of the art in the temples that are influenced by Indian art styles and those influences coming from China? Why do you think there were multiple small cliffs-built temples instead of one large one?
a. Watch John Greene videos 8 and 9 from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBDA2E52FB1EF80C9 or the documentary on Alexander The Great (about 50 minutes). Explain its content, and the new knowledge or perspective it brings to you. Contrast its perspective with the textbook authors. Comment on a classmate’s posting. (100 words for each video) 1%
2. Primary Sources:
Pick ONE of the primary sources on pages 304-311. Explain your selection, and analyze its content. Comment on a classmate’s posting. (100 words for each source) 1%
A. The chapter section that caught my attention the most was “The Spread of Buddhism,” particularly the section on the Aśokan pillars. The image that relates to this section is the pillar from Sarnath, which is inscribed with the edicts of Aśoka. The pillar is a tall, smooth column with a capital that resembles an inverted bell. The inscriptions on the pillar describe Aśoka’s policies and teachings, including his emphasis on nonviolence and compassion. This image is important because it helps to visualize the impact that Aśoka had on the spread of Buddhism throughout his empire, as well as the level of literacy in ancient India.
Set 1: Hellenism and Alexander’s Impact
Hellenism refers to the spread of Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, which occurred after Alexander the Great’s conquests in the 4th century BCE. According to the textbook (p. 175), Hellenism had a profound impact on the cultural, religious, and intellectual life of the Afro-Eurasian world. Greek art, literature, and philosophy became influential throughout the region, and new cities were founded in Greek style. Alexander’s incursion into central and South Asia promoted political changes in those areas, as he established Greek-style cities and encouraged the fusion of Greek and local cultures. However, these changes were not always welcomed by local populations, and there was often resistance to Hellenistic influence. Despite this, the Hellenistic period left a lasting legacy on the region’s cultural development.
Set 3: Aśokan Pillars
The Aśokan pillars were a series of pillars erected throughout the Mauryan Empire by the emperor Aśoka in the 3rd century BCE. According to the textbook (p. 178), these pillars were inscribed with edicts promoting Aśoka’s policies of religious tolerance, nonviolence, and social welfare. The pillars were made of stone and often topped with animal sculptures, and they served as symbols of Aśoka’s power and authority. The placement of the pillars in public spaces suggests that Aśoka wanted his message to reach as many people as possible, and the fact that the edicts were written in multiple languages indicates a high level of literacy in the empire. The Aśokan pillars are important because they demonstrate the role of art and architecture in the spread of political and religious ideas.
Set 5: The Silk Road
The early Silk Road developed around the 2nd century BCE and connected China, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean world. According to the textbook (p. 191), the name “Silk Road” was coined in the 19th century CE by a German geographer, and it refers to the trade in luxury goods such as silk, spices, and precious metals. However, the Silk Road was also important for the exchange of ideas, technologies, and religions between different regions. Traders faced numerous difficulties along the route, including banditry, harsh climates, and political instability, but the rewards of trade were often worth the risks. The Silk Road played a crucial role in connecting Afro-Eurasia and promoting cultural exchange between different societies.
1a. Video: John Greene’s Crash Course World History 8 and 9 cover the Classical Era, with a focus on ancient Greece and Rome. In video 8, Greene discusses the development of Greek city-states and their impact on Western civilization. In video 9, he shifts to the rise of Rome and the growth of its empire. These videos provide a helpful overview of the political and cultural developments of the Classical Era, but they focus primarily on Western history and do not delve into the impact of these societies on other regions. The
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